Olga da Polga–rediscovered gem #2

Ever notice how rodents “rule” in children’s books? I couldn’t begin to guess how many fiction and non-fiction titles in my collection revolve around these furry friends.  Think about it–  you’ve got your mice books, your squirrel books, your books with chipmunks, beavers, gerbils, and  porcupines.  Not to mention the ever-popular hamsters and guinea pigs.

This past year my second graders went crazy over Betty Birney’s Humphrey books.  And thanks to my recent stroll through my shelflist I’ve rediscovered another rodent gem that may fit the bill when there’s not enough Humphrey to go around.

We have two of Michael Bond’s Olga da Polga books in our collection and although Olga is a guinea pig (not a hamster like Humphrey), she is a well developed character by the author of the Paddington books.  I remember reading The Tales of Olga da Polga in the late 70’s during my student teaching.  It was funny then and it’s still funny now.  Olga is no ordinary guinea pig–adventurous, full of herself, a great teller-of-tales.  No matter what mischief she gets into or what humiliation she suffers she always comes out on top.

I’m glad I re-read this book this summer, and I’ll be happy to booktalk it when school resumes.  If you have a copy of one of the Olga da Polga tales that hasn’t circulated in a while, dust it off and have a look.  And here are some related books that might serve as companions:


King-Smith,  I Love Guinea Pigs

Petty, Guinea Pigs/Hamsters

Evans, Guinea Pig

Spengler, Caring for your Guinea Pig


Child, I Completely Know about Guinea Pigs

McMullan, Fluffy’s Spring Vacation

Hurwitz, Lexi’s Tale

McDonald, Stink and the Great Guinea Pig Express


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Roslyn
    Aug 01, 2013 @ 15:43:52

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